USAID and Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation Celebrate Launch of USAID Integrated HIV/AIDS Project in DRC
Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of Congo—May 11, 2017—Today in Kinshasa, the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), the Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation (EGPAF), and the Ministry of Health (MOH) of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) celebrated the launch of the USAID Integrated HIV/AIDS Program (IHAP)-Kinshasa, which aims to improve HIV service delivery through technical assistance in key health zones in the capital city. This activity is part of the U.S. government’s $66 million dollar investment in the DRC through the U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) this fiscal year.
In the DRC, over 370,000 people—including over 40,000 children—are living with HIV. With 24,100 deaths from the disease in 2014, the DRC ranks 12th globally for HIV/AIDS mortality. Despite strategic efforts in recent years, many people do not have access to the testing, treatment, and care and support services necessary to live healthy lives, and the country’s health system lacks the capacity to provide these critical services.
“Our efforts to support health service providers at the health facility level and community actors is crucial to diagnose, treat, and retain on treatment people with HIV and reduce their viral load to an undetectable level,” said Christophe Tocco, USAID/DRC Mission Director.
The newly-launched five-year program will focus on three key objectives:
- Ensuring a continuum of care by enabling more individuals to know their HIV status, expanding access to antiretroviral treatment (ART), better integrating HIV and tuberculosis services, and expanding network and referral systems.
- Promoting community involvement that supports healthy behaviors and helping health facilities develop and execute community-based delivery of ART.
- Enhancing health access and outcomes by working with providers to manage resources, reduce the occurrence of drug stock-outs, and improve the use of reliable data and effective laboratory systems.
“Our ambitious USAID IHAP-Kinshasa project targets emphasize our focus on effective implementation and exemplify our results-driven goals.” said Charles Lyons, EGPAF President & CEO. “Since EGPAF began providing critical HIV services in DRC in 2001—including the dramatically improved collection, transportation, and return of HIV diagnostics once DNA/PCR testing became available in 2010—we have seen significant improvement, particularly in the areas of linkage to care and treatment. However, there is still much to be done. We appreciate the continued support of USAID and the Ministry of Health and look forward to continued success in expanding life-saving support and services.”
About the Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation (EGPAF):
EGPAF is the global leader in the fight against pediatric HIV/ AIDS and has reached more than 26 million women with services to prevent transmission of HIV to their babies. In 2015-2016, EGPAF supported activities in 19 countries and nearly 5,000 sites to implement prevention, care, and treatment services; to further advance innovative research; and to execute global advocacy activities that bring dramatic change to the lives of millions of women, children, and families worldwide. For more information, visit www.pedaids.org.
About USAID: USAID is the lead U.S. Government agency that works to end extreme global poverty and enable resilient, democratic societies to realize their potential. For more information, visit www.usaid.gov.
About PEPFAR: The President's Emergency Plan For AIDS Relief (PEPFAR/Emergency Plan) is a United States governmental initiative to address the global HIV/AIDS epidemic and help save the lives of those suffering from the disease, primarily in Africa. For more details, visit www.pepfar.gov